January 31

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Important tips from experts to effectively clean throw pillows

Experts offer these crucial laundry lessons on how to clean throw pillows

Throw pillows are a great way to add a touch of style and comfort to any living space. Whether you’re looking to freshen up your dorm room or make your home more cozy, there’s no denying the appeal of these decorative accents. However, it’s important to know how to properly clean and care for your throw pillows to ensure they stay looking their best.

Experts like Kate Chalmers, co-founder of the Steamery and Laundry expert, offer valuable advice on how to clean throw pillows. One of the first rules is to always check the care label on your pillow covers. Some fabrics may require special care, such as gentler washing or dry-cleaning.

If your pillow covers are machine washable, it’s best to wash them in a gentle cycle with a mild laundry detergent. To ensure they are thoroughly clean, it’s recommended to wash two pillows at a time, as this allows for better cleaning and helps to balance the load in the machine. Additionally, you can add a few wool dryer balls to the dryer to help fluff up the pillows and prevent them from clumping together.

When it comes to washing the pillow inserts, the process may vary depending on the material. Down or feather pillows can usually be machine washed, but they should be washed on a gentle cycle with a gentle detergent. It’s important to ensure that the pillows are completely dry before putting them back into their pillow covers.

Alternatively, if you have pillows with down or feather inserts, you can take them to a professional cleaner or use a handheld steamer to freshen them up. Steaming is a great option if you’re concerned about damaging the pillows or if they have a delicate design.

For pillows that can’t be machine washed or steamed, like those made from delicate fabrics or with decorative trims, it’s best to spot clean them or have them professionally cleaned. This will help to prevent any damage or discoloration.

In terms of storage, it’s important to keep throw pillows in a clean and dry area. Avoid storing them in direct sunlight or in an area with high humidity, as this can cause mold and mildew to develop. Instead, store them in a cool and dry space, such as a closet or under the bed.

By following these expert tips and tricks, you can ensure that your throw pillows stay clean, fresh, and plump for a long time. Taking care of your pillows not only helps to maintain their appearance, but it also reduces the spread of bacteria and odors in your home, making for a healthier and more comfortable living environment.

How to clean throw pillows

Throw pillows are not only decorative but also provide comfort and support. However, over time, they accumulate dirt, odors, and allergens, making them in need of a thorough cleaning. Here are some expert tips on how to clean throw pillows:

1. Check the care label

Before washing your throw pillows, always check the care label on the pillow covers. Some covers may be machine washable, while others may require special care.

2. Remove the pillow inserts

Before washing the pillow covers, remove the pillow inserts. This will ensure that both the covers and inserts are cleaned thoroughly.

3. Machine wash or hand wash

If the care label allows, toss the pillow covers into the washing machine. Use a gentle cycle and cold water to prevent any damage. Alternatively, you can hand wash them in a basin of lukewarm water with a mild detergent.

4. Use a delicate fabric detergent

To maintain the quality of the throw pillow covers, use a delicate fabric detergent specifically designed for delicate fabrics. This will ensure that the colors do not fade and the fabric remains soft.

5. Dry on low heat or air dry

Once washed, either tumble dry the pillow covers on low heat or air dry them. Avoid direct heat as it may cause the fabric to shrink or become distorted.

6. Fluff and deodorize

After the pillow covers are clean and dry, fluff them up and deodorize them by placing them in the dryer on a low heat setting with a couple of tennis balls or dryer balls. This will help restore their shape and give them a fresh smell.

7. Clean the pillow inserts

While the pillow covers are being cleaned, take the time to clean the pillow inserts as well. Depending on the type of pillow, you can spot clean them or put them in the washing machine on a delicate cycle.

8. Steam cleaning as an alternative

If the throw pillows have delicate embroidery or trim, steam cleaning may be a better option. A handheld steamer, like the ones from Steamery or Lewenhaupt, will effectively remove dirt and odors without the need for washing.

9. Regularly rotate and air out

To keep your throw pillows clean for longer, it’s essential to regularly rotate and air them out. This will prevent the buildup of bacteria, odors, and allergens, especially if you use the pillows for sleeping.

10. Follow special care rules for down pillows

If your throw pillows have down or feather inserts, they require special care. Follow the instructions from the manufacturer or seek advice from a professional cleaner to ensure that they are properly cleaned and maintained.

By following these expert tips, you can ensure that your throw pillows are always clean, fresh, and ready to add a touch of comfort and style to your home.

Shopping list

  • Detergent: You will need a detergent suitable for delicate fabrics like wool and down. Experts recommend using a gentle detergent like the one made by The Laundress, which is available on Amazon.
  • Steamer: To ensure that the throw pillows are thoroughly cleaned and fresh-smelling, you may need a steamer. The Steamery, a co-founder of which is Kate Lancaster, offers a high-quality steamer that will help remove odors and bacteria from the pillows.
  • Inserts: If the throw pillow covers have removable inserts, consider washing them separately to ensure a more thorough cleaning.
  • Storage space: Once the throw pillows are clean, you will need a designated storage space. This could be a closet, a drawer, or even under the bed. Ensure that the storage area is clean and free from pests to avoid any potential damage to the pillows.

How often to clean throw pillows

When it comes to throw pillows, cleaning them is essential to maintain their freshness and hygiene. But how often should you clean your throw pillows? Here are some guidelines to help you determine the best cleaning schedule for your pillows.

Consider the pillow inserts

The frequency of cleaning your throw pillows depends on the type of pillow inserts you have. If your throw pillows have down or feather inserts, they should be cleaned less frequently compared to synthetic or foam inserts. Down and feather pillows can be cleaned every 6-12 months, while synthetic or foam pillows should be cleaned every 3-6 months.

Assess the usage and environment

Another factor to consider is how often you use your throw pillows and the environment in which they are placed. Pillows in high-traffic areas or frequently used rooms, such as the living room or dorm room, may need to be cleaned more often. Additionally, if the pillows are exposed to dirt, pet hair, or other contaminants, they should be cleaned more frequently.

Follow the care instructions

It’s important to read and follow the care instructions provided by the pillow manufacturer. The care instructions will usually provide guidance on the best way to clean the pillows based on the materials used and any specific cleaning requirements. Be sure to check the washing symbols or labels on the pillows for proper washing and drying instructions.

Regular maintenance and spot cleaning

In between deep cleaning sessions, regular maintenance and spot cleaning can help keep your throw pillows fresh. Use a vacuum cleaner or a lint roller to remove any surface debris or dust from the pillows. If there are any spills or stains, treat them promptly with a gentle, fabric-safe stain remover. This will help extend the time between full washes.

Proper storage and hygiene

When not in use, store your throw pillows in a clean, dry area, away from direct heat or sunlight. Keeping them in a breathable storage bag or container will help prevent dust accumulation and maintain their freshness. Additionally, pillow covers can be a great alternative to protect the inserts and make them easier to clean.

In conclusion, the frequency of cleaning your throw pillows depends on the type of inserts, usage, environment, and care instructions. Regular maintenance and spot cleaning can help prolong the time between deep washes. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your throw pillows stay clean, fresh, and free from bacteria and allergens.

How to clean throw pillow covers

Throw pillow covers can add an inspirational touch to any space, whether it’s a dorm room, a living room, or a bedroom. But over time, these covers will accumulate dirt, stains, and odors, making them look less than appealing. However, with the right care and cleaning techniques, you can ensure that your throw pillow covers always look their best.

Read the care symbols

Before you begin washing your throw pillow covers, it is important to familiarize yourself with the care symbols. These symbols will guide you on which cleaning method to use and which fabrics can be washed without any issues. Look for the care symbols on the labels or tags attached to your pillow covers.

Check for removable inserts

Many throw pillows have removable inserts that can be washed separately. If your pillow covers have removable inserts, take them out before washing the covers. This will ensure that both the covers and inserts are thoroughly cleaned.

Pre-treat stains

If your throw pillow covers have any stains, it is best to pre-treat them before washing. Apply a small amount of gentle detergent directly onto the stained area and gently rub it in. Let the detergent sit on the stain for a few minutes before moving on to the next step.

Choose the right washing method

When it comes to washing throw pillow covers, there are a few methods you can choose from. If your pillow covers are made from delicate fabrics like wool or silk, it is best to hand wash them in cold water with a mild detergent. For machine-washable covers, set your washing machine on a gentle cycle using cold water.

Avoid direct heat

Whether you are hand washing or machine washing your throw pillow covers, it is important to avoid direct heat. High heat can cause the fabrics to shrink or warp. Instead, let your pillow covers air dry. If you’re in a hurry, you can put them in the dryer on a low or delicate setting.

Iron or steam if necessary

After your throw pillow covers are dry, you may notice some wrinkles or creases. If this is the case, you can use an iron or a steamer to remove them. Make sure to follow the instructions on the care label to determine the correct heat setting for ironing.

Place them back on the inserts

Once your throw pillow covers are clean and dry, it’s time to put them back on the inserts. Make sure the inserts are plump and in good condition before inserting them back into the covers. This will help your pillows look and feel like new again.

By following these cleaning rules and expert advice, you can keep your throw pillow covers looking fresh and beautiful. Whether they are used to decorate your home or add a touch of design to your space, clean pillow covers will ensure that your space always looks its best.

How to clean throw pillow inserts

Throw pillow inserts can get dirty over time and may need to be cleaned to maintain their freshness and plumpness. Whether you have down or synthetic inserts, here are some expert tips to help you clean them and make them look like new again.

1. Check the care label

Always start by checking the care label on your throw pillow insert. This will tell you what type of material it is made of and any specific instructions for cleaning. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to ensure you don’t damage the insert.

2. Remove the pillowcase or cover

Before washing the throw pillow insert, remove any pillowcase or cover that is on it. This will allow you to clean the insert more thoroughly and prevent any dirt or odors from transferring to the fabric.

3. Spot clean if necessary

If your throw pillow insert has any stains, you may need to spot clean it before washing. Use a mild detergent and a clean cloth to gently dab at the stained area. Avoid rubbing, as this can cause the stain to spread or set further into the fabric.

4. Machine wash or hand wash

Depending on the care label instructions, you can either machine wash or hand wash your throw pillow insert. Machine washing is typically the easiest and most convenient method. Use a gentle cycle and cold water, and avoid using too much detergent, as this can leave residue and make the insert feel stiff.

5. Use appropriate detergent

Choose a detergent that is suitable for the type of fabric your throw pillow insert is made of. For synthetic inserts, a regular laundry detergent should suffice. For down inserts, use a delicate or wool detergent to ensure the feathers are not damaged during the cleaning process.

6. Dry thoroughly

After washing, it’s important to dry the throw pillow insert thoroughly. Tumble dry on low heat or air dry in a well-ventilated area. Avoid direct sunlight or high heat, as this can cause the insert to shrink or lose its shape.

7. Fluff and plump

Once the throw pillow insert is fully dry, fluff and plump it to restore its shape and make it look fresh. Gently shake and tug at the insert to redistribute the filling evenly.

8. Store properly

If you are not using your throw pillow insert immediately, store it properly to keep it clean and fresh. Place it in a breathable storage bag or pillowcase and store it in a cool, dry area. Avoid storing it in plastic bags, as this can trap moisture and cause mildew or odors.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your throw pillow inserts stay clean, fresh, and comfortable for a long time. Whether you’re looking to clean the pillows in your living room or dorm room, these cleaning ideas will help you maintain a clean and pleasant sleeping and living area.

How to dry throw pillows

After washing your throw pillows, it is important to properly dry them to ensure they maintain their shape and cleanliness. Here are some important steps to follow when drying throw pillows:

1. Check the care label

Before drying your throw pillows, always check the care label to see if there are any specific instructions on how to dry them. Pay attention to recommended temperatures and drying methods.

2. Air drying

If the care label permits, air drying is the best method for drying throw pillows. It is gentle on fabrics and helps prevent shrinkage and damage. To air dry, simply lay the pillows flat on a clean surface in a well-ventilated area, away from direct heat and sunlight.

3. Fluffing and spreading

During the drying process, it is important to fluff and spread the pillows to ensure even drying. Gently pat and shake the pillows to distribute air and fluff them up. This will help them dry more quickly and thoroughly.

4. Using a dryer

If air drying is not an option, you can use a dryer to dry throw pillows. Use a low heat setting and place the pillows in the dryer along with a few tennis balls or dryer balls. These will help fluff the pillows and prevent clumping. It is important to monitor the pillows closely to prevent overheating and damage.

5. Avoid excessive heat

Avoid using high heat settings when drying throw pillows, as this can damage delicate fabrics and cause them to shrink or lose their shape. Always opt for low heat settings and check the pillows regularly to ensure they are drying evenly.

6. Freshen up

If your throw pillows are in need of a quick freshening up between washes, you can use fabric refresher sprays to eliminate odors and make them smell good again.

By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your throw pillows are properly dried and ready to be enjoyed in your home. Whether they are decorative pillows on your bed or throw pillows in your living room, proper drying will help keep them clean, fresh, and looking their best for years to come.

How do you sanitize decorative pillows

When it comes to cleaning decorative pillows, experts offer valuable advice on how to sanitize them effectively. However, it is always best to check the care instructions for your specific pillow, as different fabrics and fillings may require different cleaning methods.

Washing machine method

Experts, like Kate Morris from The Steamery, recommend using the washing machine for most decorative pillows, as long as they are made of machine-washable fabrics. However, ensure that the pillow is structurally sound and doesn’t have delicate embellishments or trims that can get damaged in the machine.

  1. Before washing, remove any pillowcases or covers and check for any stains or spots that need pre-treatment.
  2. Place the decorative pillow(s) in the machine, ensuring that there is enough space for the pillows to move around freely.
  3. Use a gentle cycle and cold water to avoid any shrinkage or damage to the fabric.
  4. Choose a mild detergent suitable for the fabric type and add the recommended amount to the machine.
  5. Once the cycle is complete, remove the pillows from the machine and thoroughly inspect them for any remaining stains or odors.

Handwashing method

If your decorative pillow is made from delicate fabrics like silk or wool, or if it has intricate embellishments, it may be best to handwash it.

  1. Fill a basin or sink with lukewarm water and add a small amount of mild detergent.
  2. Gently agitate the water to create suds.
  3. Submerge the pillow in the soapy water and gently squeeze and knead it to clean the fabric.
  4. Rinse the pillow with clean water until all the soap residue is gone.
  5. Gently squeeze out the excess water and lay the pillow flat to dry on a clean towel or drying rack.

Drying and storage

After cleaning, it is important to dry decorative pillows thoroughly to prevent the growth of bacteria and the development of musty smells. Use a low-heat setting in the dryer or simply air-dry them in a well-ventilated area. Additionally, using laundry balls or dryer balls can help fluff up the pillows and maintain their shape.

When it comes to storage, it’s always best to keep decorative pillows in a clean and dry space. Avoid direct sunlight and damp areas, as they can cause mildew or discoloration. If you’re looking for inspirational ideas for storing decorative pillows, co-founder of Space for Giants, Max Graham, suggests using cotton garment bags or large baskets.

By following these expert tips and rules, you can ensure that your decorative pillows are always clean, fresh, and beautiful, making your home a more inviting and comfortable place to be.


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